Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 24, 2003
Deacon prospects come to listen
Married men explore possibility of ordained ministry
By BILL GLEN
WCR Staff Writer
About 15 men, some accompanied by their wives, attended an information session in Red Deer Nov. 16 to hear Archbishop Thomas Collins describe what it means to be a permanent deacon.
Sacred Heart Parish hosted the event which drew interested lay people from the southern part of the archdiocese. The archbishop held three sessions, drawing 28 interested men in Edmonton and four in Lloydminister. He plans to hold another session at a future date.
Jules Durette, 51, is a teacher at Holy Family School (ECS to Grade 6) in Red Deer. He came to the session not only out of curiosity but also because of his long-standing desire to serve the Church.
"It's definitely a possibility. I will discuss this with my spouse because it is a thing we would do together," he said.
"This has been in the back of my mind ever since I considered becoming a priest before I was married. I've always been wondering. But when you're in the workforce, I didn't know if you could hold a full-time job and still be a deacon. That has been answered for me tonight."
Durette has a daughter who attends university. He said he and his wife have begun to look at the possibility of relocating to another country sometime in the future.
"The feeling at home is uncertain because of the lack of knowledge of what the diaconate is about," he said.
"Also, can we transfer from parish to parish, province to province or country to country being a deacon? My wife and I love to travel so if we want to experience life in France or England, can I transfer and become a deacon in that community? Now that we are married, we are a unit of one so we both have to be satisfied.
"I have to consider my spouse 100 per cent," he said.
The archbishop affirmed that he could transfer and become a deacon in another diocese. But it is up to that particular diocese if it wished to decide otherwise.
Eleanor and Kevin Kubinec, from Trochu, left their four children behind with friends to finish watching the Grey Cup game. In their mid-40s, the couple are active members of St. Anne of the Prairies Parish.
"We have always been very involved in the life of our church, in leadership roles," said Eleanor Kubinec, a part-time nurse. "My husband has led a prayer group for several years and I'm involved in music. It has been really important to our family."
When the permanent diaconate was being talked about, parish priest and family friend (Father Les Drewicki) suggested Kevin, a teacher in Trochu, come and check out the archbishop's message.
What they heard about the responsibilities of a deacon is similar to their present activities with their Church.
"Basically, it sounds like everything my husband does anyway. He's a lector in Church and he's involved in youth ministry. It sounds like it would be what the lay people are doing, but with the blessing of the Church," she said.
"We aren't going to make any major decisions tonight. We wanted to find out about it."
With one child in college, two in high school and one younger, their primary focus is on their family - which is where a married deacon's first priority resides.
"It was great to hear the archbishop say the family comes first," she said. "If the deacon's marriage is falling apart, he wouldn't be a good leadership person in the Church."
The Kubinecs said their lives are very busy. They are uncertain if the diaconate is something beyond what they can do at the moment.
"I've always felt I have a call in some ways," Kevin Kubinec said.
"I'm not sure if it's to the diaconate, but I feel after what I've heard tonight that every parishioner should be doing what they are asking of the deacons."
One parameter of the permanent diaconate is an age range whereby men must be between 30 and 60 years when they are ordained a deacon.
David Harty, 25, from Cochrane was visiting family in Red Deer and came to get a better understanding of the role of a deacon.
He realized he was too young for the role, but that didn't deter him from being moved by what the archbishop had to say.
"Somebody once asked me that if I were ever accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to be held against me? That really got me thinking and I felt I had enough," said Harty, an auto body technician.
Father Fred Monk at St. Mary's Parish in Cochrane approached him recently to help start a youth group.
"I definitely know there is something inside of me that has been itching at me and poking me. I was about 17 and having been brought up Catholic, I took a step back to discern things for myself," he said.
"And as soon as I opened up a little window in my soul, it was all there. It all came together. It felt perfect."